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Topic: A Tale of Two Saarinens
Paul Urbanek is the Vice President, Corprorate Design Director at SmithGroup The firm embraces opportunities to work alongside clients, partners, and colleagues who dare to push boundaries and pursue bold “what if” dreams. And SmithGroup has discovered how to bottle passion and deliver success. The secret? Creating partnerships with others who share their goals, values, and visions for creating a better future has yielded outstanding results. Their trophy shelf is packed with proof.
“The biggest risk you will face is not taking one,” Paul Urbanek suggests. “I have tried to live my professional life by going outside of my comfort zone and not being afraid to take that risk.” Paul’s approach has translated into an array of notable projects. He has served as lead designer on world-class scientific research labs, academic buildings, R&D facilities and museums, including the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams on the Michigan State University campus, and the First Automotive Works R&D center in Changchun, China. “I always consider the trust clients extend to me to create architecture for them,” notes Paul. “It is a privilege I don’t ever take for granted. These clients have great expectations; to create works that exceed those expectations is a challenge I relish.” As for what the future holds, “I want the flying car,” he declares. “The engineers promised us that when I was a child. Now it’s time to ante up.”